A great bit of news to start this week, with the long search for a new Legal Services Commissioner over—and the result being well worth the wait, with the excellent selection of Megan Mahon. If you can measure the quality of an appointment by the feedback of the appointee’s peers, then this selection is superb. I have had dozens of members express to me their enthusiastic approval for Ms Mahon’s successful candidacy, and any time you are getting praise from our occasionally world-weary profession, you must be doing something right!
The widespread approbation from the profession is understandable, as Ms Mahon brings a wish-list of qualities to the position. Respected throughout the legal profession for her ability as a solicitor, she is also hard-working and has an impeccable reputation for being an ethical and responsible practitioner. As a former President of Queensland Law Society, the new commissioner also brings that essential and rare quality to the role: leadership.
I should acknowledge the efforts of the Acting Commissioner, Bob Brittan, who has held the fort during the long selection process and battled gamely in spite of the uncertainty surrounding the position. With the job now permanently filled, I am confident the Commission will soon be firing on all cylinders, under the strong, clear-headed leadership, and innovative and agile approach, that Ms Mahon will bring to the role.
Speaking of innovation, QLS is doing some of its own and we need your help. The Society is undertaking a root-and-branch upgrade of its digital platforms with a focus on service, connectedness and convenience. In addition to moving from a paper-based system to a digital system, we will be launching a new website in 2020, and we want to make sure it delivers what our members want; the first step in that process, of course, is asking you all what that is!
I ask that all QLS members complete this short survey to give us some guidance on what works, what doesn’t and what we need to add to make it useful to you. I know there are a lot of surveys going around these days, but this one should only take 1-2 minutes and will result in a more member-friendly website, so please complete it and let us know what you are thinking.
On a different note, this week is Mental Health Week, a great chance for communities to combat the isolation and stigma that can come with mental health. I urge all practitioners to join in the effort to bring those challenged by mental illness into our communities, demolish the unfair stereotypes which come with these illnesses and ensure that our egalitarian society remains committed to the advancement and happiness of every single one of us.
That link will take you to events being held around the state, and also has links on how to create your own event. Crucially, there are some tips on how to look after your own mental health; the theme this year is ‘take time’, so please take time to find out what you can do to promote good mental health in our profession and throughout the state.
On to happier themes, and I am looking forward to hearing what Justice Soraya Ryan has to say in the next lecture of the Modern Advocate Lecture Series, which will take place on 10 October. If you haven’t already registered it may well be too late (the series sells out fast!) but you never know.
I will leave you this week with this happy/scary observation: only 11 more Fridays until Christmas!
Bill Potts, QLS President